Cancer registries fear imminent collapseBMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7265.854/c (Published 07 October 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:854
- Phyllida Brown
Britain's system for monitoring cancer trends could collapse if new guidance from the General Medical Council is implemented, warn researchers.
The guidance, intended to protect patients' confidentiality, says doctors should not transfer individuals' details to cancer registries without their consent. But the GMC's critics say that the guidance is unworkable and that most clinicians will stop registering data.
The guidance, dated June 2000 but issued in September, came just before the government pledged in its National Cancer Plan to improve Britain's cancer survival rates to equal the best in Europe.
But Dr Monica Roche, chair of the UK Association of Cancer Registries, said it would be impossible to monitor survival trends if population-wide data stopped flowing in. “The only reason we knew there was an issue [with survival rates] in …